Friday 5 April 2019

US 5th Armored Division, Hürtgen, 1944

I have finally made the push to complete the painting of this sombre scene depicting the bitter fight by the US Army forces during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest in Fall of 1944. Inspiration of this vignette came from literally thinking within the box as I set upon myself the challenge to create a narrative using just only the contents of the kit. With the exception of swapping the stock heads for the more expressive offerings from Hornet Models and the remodelling of the hands of the kneeling figure, no other alterations were made to the stock Tamiya figures.

 I initially planned to create a solemn scene of the kneeling tank crew in front of a grave marker, but after seeing the half-figure tank driver in the set I though I would change it to a macabre one. However, I did not want to give that away in an instance and hence I had the kneeling figure hold up a tarpaulin to momentarily shield the viewer from the gory of a corpse sawn in half. I wanted the viewer to piece together the elements and form the story once his eyes went around the scene.

Painting wise, the colour palette consisted of various hues of dark browns and greys to convey the mood and physical condition of the subject. I alternated the colour temperature of the skin tones between the kneeing tank crew and his fallen compatriot for greater visual contrast. Image stills from the movie Fury helped provide references for painting and weathering the uniforms.

In all, this has been another engaging project with a stronger emphasis focused on the narrative. I must say that I am on a roll with these new generation of 3D-scanned injection moulded plastic figures from Tamiya. Onward to the next project....